Galley Wench Tales

Exploring the world through the people we meet
and the food they eat.

San Juan, Puerto Rico.  Not fancy, but “Imagine This” did.
No, this is not our boat, but we sailed 3 weeks in Canada’s
DEsolation Wilderness in a boat like it.
“Wow! What a life!  I wish I could do that!” 
It’s common refrain cruisers hear from others, envious of at the very least, the idea of making their boat their home; going vagabond.  Initially they visibly glow with excitement of the possibility.  Then, they wistfully shake their heads free of the notion, like a dog shaking off water.  Which is actually, what they are doing.
What keeps them from going, if it purportedly intrigues them so much?
12 Excuses — Countered
  1. I have kidsthough we’ve met cruisers traveling happily with their kids.
  2. I can’t quit my jobbecause?  Many do.  We did.  Many of our land-based expenses went away when we left land behind.
  3. I want to wait for retirementbut often their health or their parent’s health keeps intervenes as time marches on.
  4. My(extended) family needs methere are other options; caregivers, returning home periodically.  What’s your timeline before it’s too late for you to go?
  5. Boats cost too much money…  So do cars, houses, college educations.  Some boats practically held together with duct-tape travel amazing distances.  It’s up to you to make the tradeoffs between your desires and your budget.  The options are there if you’re willing to shop with diligence, an open mind and a sharp eye.  Our $30K boat is a very solid blue-water boat, purchased in St. Lucia.  It would’ve been nice to get something a little bigger and more comfortable, but we opted for safety and not spending more years saving for a bigger boat.
  6. Traveling costs too much money… Your boat is your hotel, your galley is your restaurant, mother nature usually offers her best entertainment for free.  Of course, you can always spend more if you want to and you have the money.
  7. I don’t know how to sail.  There’s lots of ways to learn… classes, friends, yacht clubs….
  8. It’s dangerous.  Statistically, you’re a lot less likely to die on your boat in the ocean than you are on most major metro freeways.
  9. There’s piratesNot that many, and we generally know where they are and thus can avoid them.  Not so different than avoiding the bad part of town after dark, or knowing not to strut your finery in have-not neighborhoods.
  10. It’s scary.  There are moments (though likely less than you’d expect).  We choose to not be ruled by our fears.  The longer we cruise, the more we learn to overcome the challenges.
  11. What do I do with my house? Selling it is a great way to buy your boat, if you have equitiy.  Renting it, if you have good property manager, is a good way to cover your expenses if there’s positive cash flow.  We got nothing from the sale of our house, but now that it’s sold, it’s no longer a concern.
  12. How can I do without all my stuff?  Most cruisers miss far less than they’d expect.  We discover not much is usually more than enough as the stuff of our days is filled with the wonders of our watery wanderings. 

What does it take to go?
  1. You decide you’re going to (without this focus, you will not go)
  2. You pick a target date to leave.
  3. You take a swipe at cruising a budget that you can live with ($500-2500/month is a common range — click here to check out Beth Leonard’s Voyager’s Handbook; a great resource to get a sense for what it might cost you given your “needs”).
  4. You decide how much money you will come up with to buy a boat and meets your cruising budget.
  5. You find a boat you can live with in your budget.
  6. You buy it.
  7. You go. (somehow, you will address everything you need to for this to happen, as long as you decide you’re going to) 

When you’re ready, you’ll know (though you’ll never feel 100% ready in terms of feeling everything’s taken care of). Then, you’ll go.

Bon Voyage!

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